Recording Academy Seeks to Close Deborah Dugan Arbitration Hearing to Public

Ahead of an arbitration hearing with former CEO Deborah Dugan scheduled to begin on July 12 in Los Angeles, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has asked that the proceedings be closed to the public, the New York Times reports.

In January 2020, Dugan had asked the Recording Academy—the organization that produces the Grammys—in an open letter to waive the arbitration clause of her employment contract, which legally obligates her to settle any disputes with her employer via confidential arbitration.

Dugan’s request was quickly countered with a February proposal to instead merely waive the confidentiality provision of the clause, in service of transparency. In his response to Dugan’s open letter, then-interim CEO Harvey Mason jr. said at the time

But in correspondence with arbitrator Sara Adler and Dugan’s attorneys obtained by the Times, the Academy’s lawyer Anthony J. Oncidi said they were now only willing to make public the results of the arbitration—and the reasoning behind them—but nothing more. Pitchfork has reached out to the Recording Academy for comment; a representative for Dugan declined to comment on the record.

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